A meeting of our new ‘Slándáil legal and ethical caucus’ was held on 30th October 2015.
Project beneficiaries from TCD, INFAI, UNIPD, Stillwater, Pintail and the Gardaí met and discussed the legal and human rights issues surrounding the Slándáil project.
The aim the meeting was to introduce the new experts in Human Rights Law, Copyright Law, Data Protection and Privacy Law and Internet Law to the other beneficiaries involved in the legal and ethical work of the project. We have brought these experts on board to help ensure that the research and technology development work carried out in Slándáil aligns with current and emerging international law.
This work is ground breaking in that it aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape which pertains to the harvesting of social media data in emergency response. The caucus’ experience in human rights law, data protection, privacy, copyright and internet law will be drawn upon and opinions in all of these areas will be drawn up which give an account of the legal provisions at both European and national levels.
Recent developments including the safe harbour decision and the upcoming proposed legislation in the UK colloquially known as the “snooper’s charter” were discussed. Other key concerns are the appropriate treatment of harvested potentially personally-identifying data post-response, when limitations to privacy rights in circumstances of disaster response no longer pertain.
The caucus was created as a result of findings made in earlier work on societal and ethical impact. This research highlighted the need for a rigorous and comprehensive understanding of the relevant legal landscape. This is illustrated in the timeline below. The societal impact report considered issues around privacy. The legal and ethical research which led to the ethical framework and the initial guidelines for factual provenance of data highlighted the implementation of derogation and limitation provisions in human rights law. However issues data protection and copyright law were raised and so it was decided to create the legal and ethical caucus to get expert legal opinion on these and other legal questions.
The participants were Khurshid Ahmad, Damian Jackson and Paul Hayes (TCD), Rebecca Bury (Stillwater), Victoria Macarthur (Pintail), Paolo de Stefani (UNIPD), Taiwo Oriola and Bryan Scotney (University of Ulster), Christian Berger (INFAI), Rob Corbet (Arthur Cox Solicitors) and Brian Halligan (An Garda Síochána)